The principal of Robb Elementary School was reinstated on Thursday just days after she was placed on leave in response to the mass shooting when 19 young students and two teachers were slaughtered.
School leader Mandy Gutierrez was allowed to return to work Thursday, according to a brief letter from Uvalde School Superintendent Hal Harrell. The quick reversal comes after Gutierrez contested findings in a Texas legislative committee report that criticized school security.
“Thank you for responding to our request for information by submitting your response to the House Investigative Report. As a result of our review, you will be allowed to return to work on this date (July 28, 2022),” Harrell wrote in the letter that was obtained by Acesparks Digital.
Her attorney also told Acesparks she was back at her job.
“She has been fully reinstated to her position, where she will continue to discharge her duties and continue to serve all the families of the UCISD,” said lawyer Ricardo Cedillo.
Texas legislative committee members found in their report earlier this month that there was a “culture of complacency” at the elementary school that allowed gunman Salvador Ramos to open fire inside.
But Gutierrez refuted that in a letter back to the committee Wednesday.
“It is unfair and inaccurate to conclude I ever [became] complacent on any security issue of Robb Elementary,” she wrote in the letter that was posted by Acesparks.
She also rebutted findings that faulted her for not fixing a lock in a classroom that she claimed and an assistant knew wasn’t working before Ramos entered it on May 24.
She said the lock worked because a custodian checked every door nightly, including the night before the shooting. She also asserted that she had no memory that the teacher of that classroom ever complained that the door did not lock.
“The teacher in charge of that classroom complained on more than one occasion that because the door DID lock, his work day was interrupted because the printer for several classrooms was located in that room,” Gutierrez wrote.
That teacher, Arnulfo Reyes, told Acesparks he did not complain about the door being locked, but rather that it jammed several times over three years.
Reyes said the door was locked during the day and usually locked when he got to school each morning, but he can’t recall if the door was locked the day of the shooting, according to Acesparks.
Gutierrez was in her first year as principal after she was a fourth-grade teacher and assistant principal for more than two decades, KEN 5 reported.
“I will live with the horror of these events for the rest of my life,” Gutierrez wrote to the committee, according to the letter given to Acesparks. “I want to keep my job not only so that I can provide for my family, but so that I can continue to be on the front lines helping children who survived, the families of all affected, and the entire Uvalde community that I love and want to continue to protect.”
Uvalde’s School Police Chief Pete Arredondo remains on leave after receiving intense criticism for his actions the day of the shooting where law enforcement failed to respond quickly to stop the crazed shooter.
The Texas report largely condemned law enforcement for officers’ actions that day.
With Post wires